MicroRNA-1 and microRNA-499 downregulate the expression of the ets1 proto-oncogene in HepG2 cells

Wei Wei, Zheng Hu, Hanjing Fu, Yi Tie, Haihong Zhang, Yongge Wu, Xiaofei Zheng
Oncology Reports 2012, 28 (2): 701-6
MicroRNAs may function to promote or suppress tumor development, depending on the cellular context. The important role of microRNAs in regulating molecular pathways underlying tumorigenesis has been emphasized in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). MicroRNAs regulate gene expression via post-transcriptional mechanisms by inhibiting translation or by degrading mRNA. In this study, we show that microRNA-1 (miR-1) and microRNA-499 (miR-499) are capable of repressing the expression of the ets1 proto-oncogene, which plays a fundamental role in the extracellular matrix (ECM) degradation, a process required for tumor cell invasion and migration. We used luciferase reporter assays to demonstrate that miR-1 and miR-499 target the 3' untranslated region (UTR) of ets1. Overexpression of miR-1 and miR-499 in HepG2 cells led to downregulation of ets1 mRNA and protein as assessed by quantitative reverse transcription PCR and western blot analysis. Furthermore, overexpression of miR-1 and miR-499 inhibited the invasion and migration of HepG2 cells in matrigel invasion and transwell migration assays, respectively. These results suggest that miR-1 and miR-499 may play an important role in the pathogenesis of HCC by regulating ets1.

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